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Puffs ‘n Stuff

No longer just for Dickensian orphans or misbehaving blonde girls who trespass at the home of bear families, porridge takes center stage at one of LA’s coolest new eateries.

Porridge + Puffs was previously a Silver Lake pop-up but now resides as a full-fledged restaurant in an airy and bright space in Historic Filipinotown. Here, talented chef Minh Phan creates beautiful gourmet bowls of hot rice cereal, utilizing the fresh seasonal ingredients she finds at the Hollywood Farmer’s Market each week.

You can get order your porridge numerous ways including a version adorned with Grilled Black Eyed Pea Miso, KnK Fruit, Ginger, Numbing Spice Braised Pork Sausage, Chayote in Black Bean Sauce and Rose Onion Pickles. I like mine with Sweet Soy-braised Chicken, Turkey and Mushrooms, as well as Crispy Shallots, Celery Pickles, Edible Flowers and a Hibiscus-shiso Pickled Soft Egg. Whichever porridge dish you select, make sure to get an order of hot chewy rice-flour beignets called “Puffs,” for dunking.

I also recommend the crunchy Asian Herb Slaw with Rau Ram, Shiso, Holy Basil, Peanuts and Sesame. Wash it down with a sweet and vinegary Hibiscus-Rose Shrub. And for dessert, the Brown Butter Mochi with Miso Caramel will leave you saying “Please sir, I want some more.”

Porridge + Puffs is located at 2801 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles (in Historic Filipino Town).

Asian Herb Slaw with Rau Ram, Shiso, Holy Basil, Peanuts and Sesame
Poultry and Mushrooms Porridge with Sweet soy Braised Chicken, Turkey, Mushrooms, Crispy Shallots, Celery Pickles, Seasonal Edible Greens/Flowers, Mirepoix Rice Porridge, and Hibiscus-Shiso Pickled Soft Egg
Yakimiso and Sausage Porridge with Brilled Black Eyed Pea Miso with KnK Fruit, Ginger & Aromatics, Numbing Spice Braised POrk Sausage, Chayote in Black Bean Sauce, Rose Onion Pickles, Sprouts and Negi Rice Porridge
Spaetzle with Peanut Sauce, Roasted Mushrooms, Fennel, Pickled Cucumbers and Pickled Trail Mix
Naked Puffs
Brown Butter Mochi
Coffee Cake with Halva
HIbiscus-Rose Shrub
A happy place

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Kiss My Hass: The 7 Best Avocado Toasts in LA

In Los Angeles, the five basic food groups are Fruits, Vegetables, Meats/Eggs, Oat Milk, and Avocado Toast. And the last one is by far the most important. We love our avocado toast in LA and consume it religiously following our Sunday morning yoga and pilates classes. It’s a delicious reminder that we live the good life here in Southern California. Below are my current seven favorite avo toasts in town:

7. Sqirl. The Avocado Toast from Sqirl is topped with Hot Pickled Carrots, Garlic Crème Fraîche and House Za’atar. Just like everything else at Sqirl, it’s pretty awesome.

6. Tartine Bianco. The Avo Toast at new kid on the block, Tartine Bianco, is actually referred to as a “Smørrebrød” and topped with Jalapeño, Cilantro and Pumpkin Seeds. It’s served on Tartine Bakery’s Danish Rye Bread.

5. Gjusta. This is a secret off menu item at Gjusta. I love the simplicity of it; the chunky avocado slices, the course salt and the amazing Gjusta Pumpernickel Bread.

4. Le Pain Quotidien. “Le Pain” (pronounced “Pan”), which is how we refer to this ubiquitous chain, is famous for their Avocado Toast. It’s topped with Citrus Cumin Salt, Chia Seeds, and Olive Oil.

3. The Joint Eatery. Ripe avocado slices are served here on a nice thick toasted slice of Brioche. Since this Valley newcomer specializes in amazing seafood dishes, I suggest getting your Avocado Toast topped with what I believe to be the best crab salad you’ve ever eaten in your life.

2. Bluestone Lane. The very best Avocado Toasts tend to to come from hipster coffee chains and the one at Bluestone Lane is no exception. It’s made with a smashed avocado seasoned with fresh lemon juice, salt & pepper, chili flakes & olive oil, and served atop a slice of toasted multigrain bread.

1. Alfred Coffee. Maybe it’s because I like basic things perfectly executed, but this classic Avo Toast is my favorite in the city. It features Watermelon Radish, Sprouts, Grape Seed Oil, Red Pepper Flakes and Lemon, and it’s served on Pumpernickel from The Larder Bakery. The only disappointing thing is it’s available in only one of Alfred’s many locations, the one in Silverlake.

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Manufacturing Awesomeness

Tartine in San Francisco is the best bakery in the country and for over two long years I have eagerly awaited the opening of Tartine’s first LA venture. It has finally arrived.

The Manufactory is a collaboration between the Tartine folks (James Beard Award winners Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson) and nationally acclaimed Phoenix pizza chef Chris Bianco. It’s a giant industrial chic complex that houses a production bakery, a coffee roastery, a specialty food market, a coffee and ice cream window, a “Market Bar” that features Chris Bianco’s flatbreads, and an amazing restaurant called Tartine Bianco. The whole magilla is housed in ROW DTLA, the uber cool and newly gentrified shopping and restaurant complex in the warehouses of LA’s historic Downtown produce market.

Not surprisingly, the seasonal menu of Tartine Bianco centers around Tartine’s insanely good bread. The Pork (Rillette) and Pickle Toast with Mustard and Radish (pictured above) and the Chicken Liver Toast with Kumquat and Blood Orange are absolute must-haves. So is one or more of the the Smørrebrøds, Danish-style open-face sandwiches on Rye Bread. The Uni Smørrebrød with Kohlrabi, Mustard Seed and Lardo is particularly phenomenal.

If you have room after all those carbs, order the Sweetbreads with Crispy Red Rice, Yam, Fermented Chili Amaranth and Mustard Frill, as well as the Farro & Chickory Salad with Winter Squash and Tahini Yogurt. I also recommend washing your glutinous feast down with one of Tartine Biano’s creative cocktails or a Young Ginger Kombucha with Grapefruit and Star Anise, which is made in The Manufactory’s own basement fermentation room.

The Manufactory and its Tartine Bianco restaurant are located in ROW DTLA at 757 S. Alameda St., Los Angeles (Downtown).

Country Bread and Warm Ricotta with Black Pepper and Olive Oil
Sesame Bread and Eggplant Dip with Fermented Red Pepper
Fermented Vegetables
Uni Smørrebrød with Kohlrabi, Mustard Seed and Lardo
Avocado Smørrebrød with Jalapeño, Cilantro and Pumpkin Seeds
Chicken Liver Toast with Kumquat and Blood Orange
Puntarelle Salad with with Date, Stilton, Olives, Allium and Sherry Vinaigrette
Farro & Chickory Salad with Winter Squash and Tahini Yogurt
Sweetbreads with Crispy Red Rice, Yam, Fermented Chili Amaranth and Mustard Frill
Rotisserie Chicken with Black Garlic Spaetzle, Bok Choy and Chicken Jus
Spiced Date Cake with Brandy Toffee Sauce and Orange Creamsicle Ice Cream
Ginger Tart with Buttermilk, Lemon Marshmallow and Meringue Kisses
Kale and Coriander Seed “Margarita” with Tequila Blanco, Chareau, Cilantro, Mint, Chili Poblano and Ancho Reyes Verde
Young Ginger Kombucha with Grapefruit and Star Anise
Fun, bustling indsutrial chic space in ROW DTLA

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Labor Day Weekend for Foodies

The Taste LA Times
Who doesn’t love a food festival? If you’re in LA this Labor Day Weekend, there’s a great one happening on the Paramount Pictures lot. It’s put on by The Los Angeles Times and features over 125 of LA’s top restaurants spread out over five different events. Some of my favorite places participating include The Gorbals, Hinoki and the Bird, Jitlada, Fishing with Dynamite, Loteria Grill, Chichén Itzá, Stella Barra Pizzeria and Plan Check Kitchen + Bar. Wine, Beer and Spirits will be plentiful.

You can get more information and buy tickets here.

Maple Bacon Cinnamon Roll baked by LA Times Test Kitchen chef Noelle Carter

Maple Bacon Cinnamon Roll baked by LA Times Test Kitchen chef Noelle Carter will be featured at the Sunday brunch event.

Mexican French Toast from Loteria Grill chef Jimmy Shaw

Mexican Sweet Roll “Concha” French Toast from Loteria Grill chef Jimmy Shaw will also be served at the Sunday brunch.

Smokey Fried Chicken from Plan Check Kitchen + Bar

Smokey Fried Chicken from Plan Check Kitchen + Bar

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Blogiversary Giveaway

Blogiversary Giveaway
Today is Consuming LA’s two year blogiversary! This blog is truly a labor of love and I’d like to thank all of you who read it regularly. On this momentous occasion, I want to celebrate Oprah-style — by giving away stuff, including $50 gift certificates to some of my favorite restaurants in LA! There are twelve prizes in all.

Here’s how to enter to win: If you do not already subscribe to Consuming LA, you can enter simply by subscribing (which is free). Once you become a subscriber or if you have already been one, you can enter by referring friends to subscribe for the first time. You will receive one entry for each referral and you can enter as many times as you want. The deadline to enter is April 8, 2013. Click here to see the official rules. Here are the prizes:

Shaved Mushroom and Black Truffle Pizza from Stella Rossa Pizza Bar in Santa Monica

Shaved Mushroom and Black Truffle Pizza from Stella Rossa Pizza Bar

$50 Gift Certificate to Stella Rossa Pizza Bar Stella Rossa is an amazing upscale pizza restaurant and wine bar that’s presided over by uber-talent chef Jeff Mahin, who competed on The Taste on ABC recently. Mahin serves the best pizza in the city, including my favorite, an incredible mushroom and truffle pie.

Maple Fried Chicken, Pork Belly, and Bison Chili Tacos from This cool restaurant is Silverlake

Maple Fried Chicken, Pork Belly, and Bison Chili Tacos from Diablo

$50 Gift Certificate to Diablo This cool restaurant, which opened in Silverlake last year, serves my favorite fusion tacos in the city. My favorite is the Maple Fried Chicken Taco with Purple Kale and Red Rooster Vinaigrette. Diablo is also a great place to drink and their signature Micheladas are served with yuzu or tomato popsicles and are incredible.

Gougere Sliders

Gougere Sliders with Fried Oysters, Tarter Sauce, Applewood Smoked Bacon and Arugula from Little Bear

$50 Gift Certificate to Little Bear. I love this fun and hip Downtown gastropub, its updated versions of rustic Belgian cuisine and its awesome selection of craft beers. I named their fried oyster and bacon sliders on Greyere cheese puffs my favorite of all dishes that I blogged about last year.

Peanut Brittle Cookie from M Street Kitchen in Santa Monica

Peanut Brittle Cookie from M Street Kitchen in Santa Monica

$50 Gift Certificate to M Street Kitchen I love peanut butter more than anything and my favorite peanut butter cookies in Los Angeles are baked fresh daily and sold at M Street Kitchen in Santa Monica. Besides having amazing baked goods, M Street Kitchen is a great casual restaurant with Modern American cuisine.

Fritzi Dog on Pretzel Bun from Original Farmer's Market on Fairfax

Fritzi Dog on Pretzel Bun from Fritzi Dog

Five winners will each receive a pair of free hot dogs from Fritzi Dog Fritzi Dog is my favorite hot dog joint in LA and my favorite place in the Original Farmer’s Market on Fairfax. Their dogs are insanely good and I also love their wide selection of gourmet toppings and buns, including soft pretzel buns.

Figueroa Philly Cheese Steak

Lunch or Dinner for two at Figueroa Philly I went to around 30 Philly cheesesteak places in LA last year in search of the best and I picked Figueroa Philly (which is right near USC) as my favorite. I love everything about their cheesesteaks, especially the marinated ribeye and Amoroso rolls imported directly from Philadelphia.

The Hungry Games, a puzzle and quiz book for food lovers

The Hungry Games, a puzzle and quiz book for food lovers

Two winners will receive a copy of “The Hungry Games — Improve Your Chowcabulary,” a newly published puzzle book with great word games and quizzes for food lovers.

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